How to Get Back Into Exercise After a Long Break?

Falling off an exercise regimen at one point or another is true for almost everyone. Maybe a new job, a suddenly jam-packed schedule, burnout, stress, an injury, or extra family responsibilities have stolen your workout time. 

Sweat-dripping exercise sessions now seem to be a distant memory. Whatever the reasons, you might be procrastinating to start again. Falling out of the consistent habit of exercise can make the idea of it feel completely daunting and downright stressful.

However, the good news is that getting back into a workout groove is possible. All you need to do is have a little planning, be patient with yourself and have a dash of desire. Thus, if you are wondering how to start exercising after a long break, think no more and dive right into this article. 

7 Ways to Get Back to Exercise Safely After a Break

The longer you are away from the gym, the harder it feels to go back. This is true for almost everyone. However, at one point, you need to stop mulling over the question of how to get back to exercise after a long break and take action. To make your transition back to fitness more convenient and manageable, here are a list of seven expert-backed tips to get you started:-

1. Setting Realistic Expectations Based on Your Fitness Assessment

To successfully get back to exercise after a long break, you must set realistic and achievable goals and expectations. Here, a personal trainer can play a significant role. A personal trainer will thoroughly assess your present fitness level and help you fix your fitness goals. He can also guide you on what exercises to do after a long break. 

However, without a personal trainer, you can start by articulating your fitness goals, including muscle gain, weight loss, enhanced flexibility or a combination of these. Also, you must create quantifiable goals, such as aiming to walk 5000 steps/day. 

2. Role of Medical Professionals in Ensuring a Safe Return to Exercise

If you are struggling with how to get back to exercising after a prolonged period of inactivity or illness, you can enlist the help of medical professionals, too. Exercise professionals will recommend workout plans based on your current fitness level to suit your needs. 

They might start with low-intensity training exercises, which would be gradually more rigorous depending on your health condition. If you are an elderly person who has a disability or requires exercise as part of medical treatment, these medical professionals can guide you well. 

3. Selecting Exercises That Suit Your Goals and Preferences

Determining your health goals will steer you towards choosing the right exercise. For instance, if your goal is weight management, you can try walking, cycling, running or weight training exercises. Also, you must choose exercises that address your fitness goals and are fun to do.

Also, be realistic regarding your current level of fitness and health. It's advisable to start with gentler exercises and gradually work your way up. Go for a training buddy if you prefer things organized, and if you like a more casual approach, then start working out alone. 

Additionally, Also, depending on your preferences, you can choose an indoor or outdoor activity or a combination of these two. 

4. Creating a Structured Workout Plan

Wanting to start working out again isn't enough. You need to back this up with a structured workout plan. Determine the type of exercises you are planning to do, choose a place for working out, decide when you want to exercise and such. 

Also, make sure to add fun elements to your workout plan. For instance, you can create a Spotify workout playlist and try different workouts every 15 days. 

With a structured and easy-to-follow workout plan, it will be difficult for you to devise excuses for not doing the work. You can write down your workout plan in the Notes section of your phone so that you can refer back to it when needed. 

5. Importance of Scheduling Rest Days and Avoiding Overtraining

We are advised to stay active by exercising regularly. But whether you are just feeling extra motivated or are training yourself for a competition, more isn't always better. A successful fitness plan is incomplete without a proper inclusion of rest days. Scheduling rest days is just as important as exercise. 

Rest days ensure that you do not overtrain yourself or suffer burnout. Also, taking breaks at regular intervals helps your body to repair and recover. It is essential for your muscle growth, preventing muscle fatigue and reducing injury risk. Rest days are an indispensable part of your fitness progress, irrespective of your fitness level. 

6. Monitor Your Progress and Make Adjustments to Your Routine

Things like working out take a significant amount of time to show results. Thus, it becomes hard to see when you are making progress. Here comes the need to monitor your progress. You can closely monitor your progress by setting up micro-goals along the way. 

As you keep achieving these goals, you will feel your goal is increasingly within reach. Monitoring your progress will also help you adjust your workout plan to reach the next level. 

7. Paying Attention to Nutrition and Hydration

As soon as you start exercising after a long break, you must pay attention to your nutrition. Making healthier food choices should be one of your primary concerns. Increase your intake of vegetables and fruits, and ensure you have portion-controlled meals

Keeping yourself hydrated is a must-have thing to do. You should drink ample water to meet the body's water intake requirements and make up for the water lost while working out. You can drink smoothies and fruit juices to keep yourself hydrated. 

8. Staying Motivated and Consistent

Staying motivated and sticking to your workout plan is the key to successfully bouncing back to a healthier lifestyle. Find a way to stick to your schedule, no matter how small it is. If you feel like you don't have enough time to do a full workout, just squat. 

Also, you must monitor your self-talk. If you keep on telling yourself that you are lazy or can never get back to your old fitness regimen, at one point in time, you will start believing it. Instead, try harnessing the power of positive self-talk to motivate yourself. Say to yourself that you will work today and enjoy doing it. It might feel silly initially, but eventually, you will feel more excited and motivated about exercising.

Remember, consistency is the key. To stay consistent, you can mark the days you work out on a physical calendar. This way, you can not lie to yourself about consistency. Also, keeping track of the days you have skipped your workout will be easier. You can also motivate yourself by rewarding yourself after the gym, but not with food. You can indulge yourself in a long, luxurious shower after working out. 


Change is hard. Initially, going back to the gym or back to your old exercise regimen would seem a daunting task. You might seem to be taking two steps forward and one step backwards. During this time, it's easy to beat yourself up and think you are lazy. But hold on! Do not give up on yourself. Be your cheerleader.